Connect health care professionals as members of a team, connect researchers in different disciplines to find answers to global problems, connect health IT information to people who can use it to improve patient care, and connect the health systems of the future in new ways, all with improved health as the outcome. That’s the concept submitted to a Google Foundation idea contest on behalf of WSU’s health sciences programs.
 
Through Project10tothe100th, the Google Foundation asked people to submit ideas to change the world for the better by helping as many people as possible. Organizations were not allowed to submit directly, so on behalf of dozens of individuals supporting a global grand vision, WSU Health Sciences Campus Advisory Board Chair Roger Woodworth of Avista submitted an idea, “Heal Health Care Through Team Care.”
 
The approach outlined in the idea is to build connections for a healthier world not only between the health professions but also between human and animal health, urban and rural, individual and public health records.
 
Brian Pitcher, WSU Spokane chancellor and vice provost for WSU Health Sciences, said, “This idea builds upon the growing health sciences campus in Spokane that includes programs of both WSU and Eastern Washington University, the new ‘team care’ culture being embedded here, the innovative health IT resources Spokane has in Inland Northwest Health Services, WSU’s traditional strengths in animal and agricultural health, and our collaborative spirit as a community.”
 
The idea proposes developing Spokane as a “connected community care laboratory,” to be the first test-bed for an approach that utilizes health IT and bridges traditional gaps in health care research, teaching and delivery. The idea would then spread to the world, with Spokane’s integrated health care and higher education approach as the model.
 
In the first round of the competition, Google employees will screen all the ideas submitted and choose the best 100. If the WSU Spokane health sciences idea makes it through that first cut, it goes to a public worldwide vote that begins Jan. 27, 2009. The top 20 vote-getters are then evaluated by an expert panel that will choose up to five top ideas. A subsequent competitive request for proposals will solicit applications from organizations that want to carry out the idea.
 
Inclusion of a 30-second video as part of the idea submittal was optional. With support from Avista and Inland Northwest Health Services, WSU Spokane staff worked with Corner Booth Productions to develop a video that gives a brief taste of the importance and potential for a more connected approach to health.
 
For more information:
– 30-second video illustrating the concept: http://twurl.cc/6up
– Overview of the WSU idea: http://twurl.cc/6ur
– Complete content of the idea as submitted: http://twurl.cc/6uv
– Sign up for an email reminder to vote in the public round: http://twurl.cc/6uq
– Google Foundation Project 10tothe100th: www.project10tothe100.com